Five Easy Day Hikes in New York

New York Hiking

What’s going on Road Trip Warriors!? New York State offers some of the best hiking in the Northeast with mountainous landscapes such as the Adirondacks and the Catskills. Some of the hikes in these mountains are more rigorous than others. I wanted to share what I believe to be five easy day hikes in New York. None of these hikes have a round trip distance of greater than eight miles, and they offer great outdoor experiences for all ages.

Overlook Mountain (Catskills)

  • Distance: 4.6 miles round trip
  • Elevation: 3,140′
  • Difficulty: Easy/Moderate depending on fitness level.
  • Dog-friendly: This hike is dog-friendly.
  • Photo opportunities: The abandoned hotel is very cool to explore. We had a great time walking through its ruins in the snow.

This was one of the few hikes I have done in the Catskills and we did it in the snow. This hike had its pros and cons. One of the major cons was that it lacked the feeling of being secluded in the woods. Power lines were visible while we made our way along the trail. Another con that we did not have to deal with is the presence of snakes. Apparently this area is well-known for having many rattlesnakes. If you choose to hike this mountain during warmer weather, be careful.

One of the major pros of this hike was exploring the abandoned hotel (Overlook Mountain House). The ruins of the building are being reclaimed by nature and it was thought-invoking knowing that people had walked through the former hotel back in the 1920s.

Overlook Mountain

Kane Mountain (Southern Adirondacks)

  • Distance: 1 mile round trip
  • Elevation: 2,200′
  • Difficulty: Very easy
  • Dog-friendly: This hike is dog-friendly. I don’t know how anyone feels about bringing their pet up the fire-tower though.
  • Photo opportunities: The only place you will be able to get scenic photos is from the top of the fire-tower. The summit of Kane Mountain is heavily wooded.

Kane Mountain is one of the easiest hikes in the Southern Adirondacks. It is about a half mile to the summit, and the views from the fire-tower aren’t too bad. You’ll need to ascend the fire-tower to get a good lookout of the surrounding area. It should not take you more than twenty to thirty minutes to summit.

Kane Mountain

Hadley Mountain (Southern Adirondacks)

  • Distance: 3.7 (about) miles round trip
  • Elevation: 2,654′
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Dog-friendly: This hike is dog-friendly.
  • Photo opportunities: There are some cool spots as you get towards the summit to take photos. The summit itself is not wooded, and there is a fire-tower. You can get great photographs from just about anywhere on the summit.

This was another one of my first hikes that made me fall in love with getting out into the woods. The hike itself is a good workout, but not too strenuous. The summit has 360º views and a fire-tower that can be climbed.

Hadley Mountain

Sleeping Beauty (Southern Adirondacks)

  • Distance: Varies from 5 to 7.5 miles depending where you park.
  • Elevation: 2,347′
  • Difficulty: Moderate (only because of distance)
  • Dog-friendly: This hike is dog-friendly.
  • Photo opportunities: The summit offers beautiful views of Lake George. Although the summit does not offer 360º views, it is still well worth the trek.

This was one of the first few hikes I went on before I started doing bigger ones. The distance is enough for a good workout, it is not too strenuous, and the vantage point of Lake George in the distance is astounding.

Sleeping Beauty

Goodluck Cliffs (Southern Adirondacks)

  • Distance: Roughly 5 miles
  • Elevation:
  • Difficulty: Easy/Moderate depending on fitness level.
  • Dog-friendly: This hike is dog-friendly.
  • Photo opportunities: Once you reach the cliffs, you get sweeping views of the Southern Adirondacks. There is plenty of space on the cliffs for photographs.

This was a spontaneous hike that I did with a friend. This hike is great if you are looking for a trail that will make you sweat, is not too long, and offers a great place to chill out and eat snacks with a view. It was fun sitting at the edge of the cliffs taking in the sea of green trees of the Southern Adirondacks.

Goodluck Cliffs

RTW Note

Thank you for taking the time to check out this post about five easy day hikes in New York. Each one of these hikes offers something unique and they are all worth it. I highly recommend these hikes to any hiker whether they be novice or experienced. Remember to always leave no trace and respect other hikers on the trail. If you enjoyed this post, hit the like/follow button, comment, and share it with others if you found it helpful! As always, looking forward to sharing more!

-Ant

Three Waterfalls Worth the Hike in The Northeast

Three Waterfalls Worth Hiking to in The Northeast

What is going on Road Trip Warriors!? I wanted to share with you the top three waterfalls I have been to over the past year in the Northeast. While hiking, I have seen some first-rate waterfalls in the Adirondacks and in the White Mountain National Forest. I have been to Niagara Falls, and yes it is large, and impressive. However, for me, it is too commercialized, developed, and you do not have to hike to it. My preference are waterfalls that you need to work for. Therefore you appreciate their beauty and isolation that much more. Alright, enough talk…here are my top three waterfalls I have hiked to in the Northeast!

Arethusa Falls

Arethusa Falls is located in Crawford Notch, NH. It is the tallest waterfall in New Hampshire at roughly 150 feet. It is about an hour hike to these falls and the hike is not strenuous. People of all different age groups were on this trail from children to the elderly. For more info, I have a blog post dedicated specifically to Arethusa Falls. If you find yourself in Crawford Notch with a few hours to kill, I highly recommend making your way to these falls. You will not be disappointed!

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Kaaterskill Falls

Kaaterskill Falls is located in the Catskills, NY near Palenville. This is a relatively easy hike and you will be treated to two waterfalls. The first one, Bastion Falls, is right at the trailhead. It drops about 70′ and has three drops within the waterfall itself. The real gem is a half-mile down the trail where you will find yourself at the lower section of Kaaterskill Falls. Between both tiers, the water plunges over 230 feet! It is loud and powerful, but beautiful. If you would like a better view of the upper falls, hike another half-mile up to the viewing platform. I suggest doing this because every angle of these falls are magnificent. For more on Kaaterskill Falls, check out the full blog on it here.

Kaaterskill Falls: Lower Falls

Kaaterskill Falls: Upper Falls

Rainbow Falls

Lastly, Rainbow Falls in the Adirondacks is an absolute must. It is the longest of the hikes on this list with the round trip total being 9 miles. Do not let the mileage discourage you. The majority of this hike takes place walking down a dirt road (Lake Road) for about 3.5-4 miles one way. Rainbow Falls cascades nearly 150 feet, and I am sure on a warm summer day the mist from the falls feels refreshing. Personally, Rainbow Falls is my favorite waterfall in the Adirondacks. 

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RTW Note

Thanks again for taking the time to read this fellow Road Trip Warriors! I have big plans for 2019 in regard to travel and hiking. I look forward to sharing more photos and information with you about the Adirondacks, White Mountains, and wherever else I may be exploring. I am also excited to share that I am getting a camera to capture better images! 

Comment your favorite waterfall in the comment section. It will help give me some travel ideas! Don’t forget to hit the like and follow buttons! Thank you for your support, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year everyone!

-Ant

Kaaterskill Falls: 230 Feet of Falling Water!!

Rippin a Quick Trip to Kaaterskill Falls

What up Road Trip Warriors!? This past Sunday (11/11/18), my brother and I were limited on time. Despite this, we still found an adventure we could go on an hour and a half south of us in the Catskills of NY. We had both heard great reviews of a waterfall by the name of Kaaterskill Falls. The hike was relatively short and we could get in done in a few hours. Needless to say, we packed our bags quickly and left the house around 7:00 AM. This waterfall was unreal…

Short Summary of The Hike

  • Difficulty: Easy – Slightly Moderate
  • Distance: Roughly 2 miles (.5 miles to the lower falls, .5 miles to the viewing platform above the falls)
  • Photo Opportunities: Bastion Falls (waterfall at trailhead), lower falls area, base of the upper falls a little ways up from the lower falls, the viewing platform above the upper falls
  • Note: there was a lot of ice, be careful not to slip on any rocks or frozen stairs

Palenville & The Trailhead

Driving along route 23A you will pass through a small town by the name of Palenville. As you keep moving along, you will end up on a beautiful scenic byway. It winds its way through the woods with small waterfalls and creeks on your flanks. As you near the parking area you will see Bastion Falls and this is where the trailhead starts. Just witnessing these falls from the car is a wonderful sight to see. Another minute up the road from Bastion Falls is the parking area. Please take note that to get to the trailhead, you will have to walk down route 23A and cross the road. The road is a bit windy so be sure to eye for any traffic! We absolutely cannot have Road Trip Warriors getting injured!

Bastion Falls – The Start of Your Trek

Immediately at the trailhead of the hike you encounter a rather appealing waterfall, Bastion Falls. The water falls about 70′ and has three drops within the waterfall itself. The sign-in sheet is by the falls and taking pictures of these falls is a must in my opinion.

Bastion Falls

You’ll hike along the right side of these falls following the trail markers. This is a rather developed trail with stairs and it is also heavily trafficked. For that reason, I am not going to delve into the trail itself, photos of signs along the trail, etc.

Lower Kaaterskill Falls

After an easy half-mile of hiking, you will be at the lower falls part of the hike. As you approach, if you are anything like me, you will find these falls impressive to say the least. The water was running heavily, crashing into the pools below them like thunder. The wind at the falls whipped mist in the air freezing the nearest plant-life. The icicles hanging around the upper falls seemed to shine. I recommend going around this time of year just to witness something as beautiful as this.

Me Looking at Lower Falls

Continuing Along the Trail: Base of The Upper Falls

Right next to the lower falls, you will notice stairs that you will need to ascend to reach the upper falls. Not far up the stairs, to your left, will be a path to the pool of the upper falls. Unfortunately, this path was completely frozen and extremely slick. I did not have crampons with me so I decided that the pictures were not worth the risk of myself or my brother getting hurt. On the bright side, I was able to take a photo of the path with some frozen crystals in it!

Icicles Next to Cable Railing

The Viewing Platform Above The Upper Falls

After checking this area out you will continue onward to ascend up the stairs following the trail markers. The trail does level out not long after the stairs and some hiking. One of my favorite parts of this hike was the bridge we crossed before reaching the viewing platform. 

Bridge to Viewing Platform

After crossing this bridge, you will find a sign pointing in the direction of the viewing platform. From the viewing platform, you are rewarded with an impressive vantage point of the upper falls of Kaaterskill Falls. It is worth the mile hike, I promise.

Upper Falls From Viewing Platform

As you can see, these falls are quite amazing. In fact, this picture does do Kaaterskill Falls the justice it deserves. So go visit! Just make sure to follow leave no trace principles!

Descent

This is self-explanatory as you will go back the way the same way you hiked in. There are other trails in the area that go off of this trail if you wish to explore further.

Dog-friendly

This hike is dog-friendly and I did see dogs on this trail. Please keep them close there are drop-offs near the base of the upper-falls if you decide to go there. 

Family-Friendly

This hike is definitely family friendly. It is a well-developed and highly-trafficked trail. With a distance of only two miles round trip, it is very doable. Children would definitely marvel at the sight of these tall falls. 

Gear Brought & Clothes Worn

I will keep this concise since it is a short hike. I brought a liter of water, some snacks, extra layers for the cold, and a first-aid kit. I dressed in warm attire since it is now heading towards winter. Just make sure you dress appropriately for the weather and have some water and snacks. A first-aid kit is always a good item to carry as well no matter how easy and short the hike. 

History

The falls area was purchased in the 1820s by Peter Schutt where he built a platform and cabin at the top. Up here, refreshments were sold to visitors. In 1852, Schutt added a 50-visitor boarding house and named it the Laurel House. During the 19th century, many people visited Kaaterskill Falls. Among these individuals were painters, poets, and writers. Due to this, the Laurel House increased its size in 1881 to hold 300 visitors. 

The Laurel House was closed in 1963. The NYSDEC bought the building and falls in 1965. The hotel burned in 1967 and now only parts of its rock foundation remain. 

RTW Note

I hope you found this helpful and enjoyed the pictures. Kaaterskill Falls was absolutely worth the drive. These falls have an interesting history and it is easy see why painters, writers, and poets traveled here to spark creativity. Keep on adventuring Road Trip Warriors and keep those trails clean! 

Don’t forget to like this post (if you liked it), comment your thoughts, and hit the follow button to see more awesome pictures and hiking tips!

-Ant